The Ryan aircraft housed at the Pioneer Air Museum is a fixed wing, single engine, two seat tandem cockpit, 1942 Ryan Aeronautical Craft, ST-3KR model, serial number 1773, and was originally owned by George C. Clayton.  He purchased the plane from Walla Walla, Washington in 1960 and flew it to Fairbanks.  Modifications were necessary for the solo long-range flight from Washington to Alaska.  Clayton had installed a 15-gallon fuel drum in the front cockpit to ensure he had enough fuel to make the journey.  This flight was the first attempt to fly a Ryan over the Northwest staging route, also known as the ALSIB Route.  In 2004 the Interior and Arctic Alaska Aeronautical Foundation purchased the plane from Clayton and it is now a permanent part of the collection.
The ST-3KR, PT-22 was designed and manufactured by the Ryan Aeronautical Company at Lindbergh Field in San Diego, California to be the primary U.S. Air Corps pilot trainer.  These were the first monoplane trainers acquired by the military.  Prior to 1940, the Air Corps used bi-planes. Other trainers included the Stearman Kaydet and the Fairchild Cornell, but the Ryan was considered superior because it was more demanding and less forgiving. 
Ryan Aeronatucal entered the military trainer market in 1934 with the ST, sport trainer, equipped with a 95 HP Menasco engine.  The next model, the STA, was produced in 1939 and sported an improved 125 HP Menasco engine. General Henry “Hap” Arnold requested the engine be changed from the Menasco because of reliability issues, to a stronger more powerful Kinner R-5 radial engine for the PT-21 model.  In 1941 and 1942, the Army purchased 1,023 Ryan PT-22 “Recruits” which were wire-braced monoplanes with an improved Kinner engine and without landing gear fairings.  The Navy also ordered 100 of this model and it was designated NR-1. 
The PT-22 was used heavily both for military training and civilian flight schools but was retired after WWII.  The PT-22 has become a popular civilian and sport plane.  Many are displayed or still flown in demonstrations at air shows across the world.

Pioneer Air Museum Records
Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association

One response to “RYAN PT-22 RECRUIT (ST-3KR)”

  1. Brian A Christiano Avatar
    Brian A Christiano

    George Clayton purchased this PT-22 from my father, Francis Christiano. I flew in it as a child. I also have a picture of me in the rear cockpit on the ramp at KALW.
    I also have the original prop that came with it. Dad had to replace it due to vibration and delamination. It hangs proudly on my wall.

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